Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
working with agencies- help wanted
Thread poster: Luke Mersh

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
Sep 18, 2015

Dear colleagues.

I have begun working with some agencies and would like to know what your work policies are with them.

I am normally contacted directly by them, and I normally agree to their payment terms and conditions to secure work, although I do tell them some of my conditions of work to and if we agree I proceed to work with them.

I would like to know how I can secure more work from them.

I have delivered their work ahead of time and they are happy with my work, but work is few and far between.

So I am asking you what work ethics and policies you have with your agencies to secure more work load.

all advice is well received.

many thanks in advance.


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 09:40
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
A number of uncertainties Sep 18, 2015

>I would like to know how I can secure more work from them.

I met with a number of uncertainties for Internet based job transaction. Be aware of the possible change and it is better to have face-to-face contact for long term business transaction.

Soonthon L.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:40
German to English
Deliver quality work on time ... Sep 18, 2015

...at a price you both can live with

There's a lot of competition in translation business, and agencies will often have many good translators in their "stable" which makes it hard to supply them all with work on a regular basis.

There's no way to compel an agency to work with you. But if you're low-maintenance and can deliver quality work, then you'll eventually move toward the top of the list. Given your level of experience, you're not likely to become the "go-to" translator in your chosen field until you've been at it for a while. If two years from now, you still haven't established solid relationships with several agencies, then you'll need to reevaluate your customer acquisition strategy, or even whether this is a viable means of earning a living.

You indicated that you frequently deliver work early. There's a big difference between delivering a few hours early and a day early. Delivering very early may be an indication that you're rushing through the work. I would suggest using the extra time to read through your translation one more time to make sure that you've gotten everything right. In addition, very early delivery (a day early) will give the impression that you can take on unreasonable deadlines.

And remember to perform due diligence on every inquiry you receive. Scams or offers from companies with shaky reputations have two costs: 1) wasted time and effort 2) opportunity cost, that is, they divert from time spent profitably working for a reputable customer.


 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
advice Sep 18, 2015

@Kevin

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.
I agree with what you said.

I am still at the beginning of my quest and I know that quality is very important as is customer satisfaction.
I work hard to deliver quality translations and on time.

I know it can be many years before I get regular work from them.
I was looking for some more advise or tips to help me.
regards


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Your experience is normal Sep 18, 2015

Kevin Fulton wrote:
There's no way to compel an agency to work with you. But if you're low-maintenance and can deliver quality work, then you'll eventually move toward the top of the list. Given your level of experience, you're not likely to become the "go-to" translator in your chosen field until you've been at it for a while. If two years from now, you still haven't established solid relationships with several agencies, then you'll need to reevaluate your customer acquisition strategy, or even whether this is a viable means of earning a living.

You need to keep up a constant marketing effort, contacting potential new clients (agencies and direct clients) regularly. At this stage, a repeat order should be what you're really hoping for, as this indicates that you've passed the quality test and made it into the "reserves". Regular work is for those at the top of the list.

Become a reserve translator for as many agencies as you can at this stage. Then when you start making it into the "regular" list, you can decide which are your preferred clients, and give them priority. You can also look for very new outsourcers, to become one of their first translators with immediate top status. However, there's always a risk associated with start-ups, so don't risk too much.


 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Sep 18, 2015

@Sheila.

Many thanks again Sheila for your advice.
The agencies I am working with have asked me to do test, which I have done and have accepted me into their team.

I am currently waiting for another agency to evaluate another test.

You speak about marketing, are there any marketing ideas you can give me, as I am always hesitant about which way is the best way to market oneself.

regards


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
All ways are good Sep 18, 2015

Luke Mersh wrote:
You speak about marketing, are there any marketing ideas you can give me, as I am always hesitant about which way is the best way to market oneself.

Any and every way is a good way, Luke. Obviously, getting a client who is actively looking for a translation to read your profile is the most direct way. That can be done by ensuring your name is there to be found when s/he does the search, something that sounds very passive (as simple as registering on sites like this), but which actually takes some effort, given the number of translators in the world. But it's far from the only way.

This example may well be totally inappropriate for your own circumstances, but it should serve as a basis: Imagine another father in your kid's school playground needs your phone number for an upcoming birthday party. Instead of scribbling it on a bit of paper he provides, you hand him your business card. You may make some comment about your job just to fix it in his mind. A week/month/year later, his boss/friend/brother... may mention the need for a translation. That could set him thinking: "I remember now, X's dad said he's a translator. I've got his number somewhere". Even if he's lost your card (they all do!), he can probably contact you via your kids, and you may end up with a very good client.

Don't forget that all your contacts (professional, personal and family) have contacts. One of them could need you. You know your marketing has been successful when people you've never heard of contact you, personally, with work.


 

Rachel Braff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2014)
French to English
+ ...
The more jobs you've done, the more they'll ask you to do. Sep 18, 2015

In my experience, the fresher you are in the mind of a PM at an agency, the more they'll ask you to do. I know this doesn't sound very helpful, but I think you'll find that the more jobs you've done, the more they'll contact you (provided they're happy with your work, which it sounds like they are).

I've found that often when I do a job, I'll get another offer coming soon after, as if they're asking me because I'm still fresh in their mind. ("Oh, she just finished that one, so let's see if she can do this one too.") I haven't actually done this, but I imagine that if a little time has passed since doing a job and you'd like more work from a specific agency, it could be useful to e-mail whichever PM you've worked with before just to see if they have any need and let them know you're available. It can't hurt, as long as you keep it short and sweet and don't do it often enough to be annoying. I really think that often they tend to ask whoever comes to mind first rather than necessarily sifting through their list.

Also, you've probably found by now that you seem to connect more with certain PMs than others, even in the same agency, so it may help to capitalize on that and concentrate on contacting them in particular. That way you may be able to become that particular PM's go-to person, rather than the go-to person for the agency as a whole, which probably takes more time to do.

[Edited at 2015-09-18 23:58 GMT]


 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Sep 19, 2015

Rachel Braff wrote:

In my experience, the fresher you are in the mind of a PM at an agency, the more they'll ask you to do. I know this doesn't sound very helpful, but I think you'll find that the more jobs you've done, the more they'll contact you (provided they're happy with your work, which it sounds like they are).

I've found that often when I do a job, I'll get another offer coming soon after, as if they're asking me because I'm still fresh in their mind. ("Oh, she just finished that one, so let's see if she can do this one too.") I haven't actually done this, but I imagine that if a little time has passed since doing a job and you'd like more work from a specific agency, it could be useful to e-mail whichever PM you've worked with before just to see if they have any need and let them know you're available. It can't hurt, as long as you keep it short and sweet and don't do it often enough to be annoying. I really think that often they tend to ask whoever comes to mind first rather than necessarily sifting through their list.

Also, you've probably found by now that you seem to connect more with certain PMs than others, even in the same agency, so it may help to capitalize on that and concentrate on contacting them in particular. That way you may be able to become that particular PM's go-to person, rather than the go-to person for the agency as a whole, which probably takes more time to do.

[Edited at 2015-09-18 23:58 GMT]


Hi Rachel:
This is what happened to me , they gave me one job and then said, when you finish that one here is another one , but after that it has very much been very quiet.
regards


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:40
German to English
Fixing the typos in your CV might help Sep 19, 2015

Having misspellings/typos in a CV creates a poor impression.

 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Sep 20, 2015

Kevin Fulton wrote:

Having misspellings/typos in a CV creates a poor impression.


Thanks Kevin.
I was not aware of that, but I will re-read my CV for any misspellings/ typos.

regards


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:40
Member
Italian to English
A few considerations Sep 20, 2015

I don't think your experience is unique. There are literally thousands of agencies worldwide, and I don't pretend to know how they operate.

But I can tell you my experience. You need to apply, apply, apply. Make it part of your daily marketing routine, together with other strategies. Keep a list of those you apply to - a simple Excel sheet will do. But don't hang around and wait for them to contact you - if they do, it may be up to a year later. Apply and move on. Those you are particularly keen to work with, contact them again a while later if you feel so inclinedicon_smile.gif Not something I've ever done, but some people recommend it.

Polish your CV. You need to remove the typos and some of the information that, IHMO, is not pertinent to your work as a translator. Recruiters make up their minds within a few seconds whether they think you are an interesting prospect and worth contacting. Make those seconds count.

You also need to identify the agencies who are truly worth contacting. This takes a fair amount of time, but it allows you to craft your application to their requirements. Also, some like to receive CVs, while others prefer you use the contact form on their site.

One resource you may be interested in is Ed Gandia's Warm Email Prospecting. Again, not a quick-fix solution, it's one that requires a fiar investment in terms of time and effort, but I think it's one of the most effective solutions out there for upping your client base.

I believe that contacting agencies is becoming less and less worthwhile - you need to drive people to you, rather than you contacting them. This means a savvy use of social media, your own website (since I see you have one), and creating a presence online.

And lastly... don't give up!!


 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Sep 20, 2015

@ Fiona.

I am working on my CV to polish it up.
I have read many different opinions on writing CVs, for instance some may say that working as a bartender is not pertinent to my work as a translator, but I have also read that this lets agencies know I have experience in customer service for instance.

As you have said at the end of your post and like others have told me, do not send out CV to agencies as it is like cold calling and spamming.
I was told to apply to agencies as and when they advertise for work.

As far as agencies go, I have worked for 2 and waiting for a reply to another that has interest in my work.

I will definitely look at that resource you mentioned as well.

Thank you very much for all your advice.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You need to interpret advice Sep 20, 2015

You're receiving advice but interpreting it as a set of rules. There are very few rules in this area. Of course, getting rid of typos IS a rule.

But sending or not sending CVs to agencies isn't a rule. Try to find out if each agency wants to be contacted (and if so, how). And experience that isn't directly relevant? It depends. You say bar work demonstrates customer service. So it does but is experience in customer service relevant to the client? I can see that working as a tour guide might be useful for a tourism translator; or a museum guide to a translator in the specific sector covered by the museum (anthropology, architecture etc). Not so sure about your example, though you could mention the translations done in connection with the job.

But I'm sure all the agencies I collaborate with would bin your CV immediately when they got to P2. Those rates are at most half what they should be.

[Edited at 2015-09-20 14:45 GMT]


 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Sep 20, 2015

@Sheila

Thanks again Sheila.
Its very difficult to know what to do, as you say there are no rules, just trial and error.

I am not sure what other work experience I can list, as this is new to me, so there is not any previous experience in this field.

If I remove the other experience, then my cv will be very empty.

Again I am building my experience in this field and with that I will update my CV.

many thanks again.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

working with agencies- help wanted

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search